Often when we start something new, or think about starting something new, we feel fear.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of what other people will think. Fear of getting stuck and not being able to make progress. Fear that we won’t be able to accomplish all that we hope to.
And sometimes this fear can prevent us from ever even trying something new.
It can keep us locked inside our self-created prison, like a bird in a cage with no door, who dreams of leaving his cage, flying and exploring the world outside, but is too afraid to take the risk and leave.
This November marks the one year anniversary of when I started blogging.
When I started blogging one year ago, I felt many of the fears listed above. But as I started to write and blog – and the more I did it - the fears began to melt away like ice on a hot summer day.
I began to realize that the fears I felt weren’t actually true. They had been only trying to intimidate me and keep me from doing something that I wanted to do.
I believe many of us desire to do certain things in life, but are too afraid to start working towards those desires. Even thinking about beginning to pursue them shoots fear through our bones.
Whether it’s starting a new business, writing a book, having that conversation with your spouse, going to college, adopting an orphan, or whatever else, you most likely will feel some level of fear before you start and while you are working towards your desire(s).
But here’s the truth about fear:
Fear wants you to give up from the beginning, by keeping you from actually starting. Because it knows that if you start working towards your desire and keep going, eventually you will gain momentum and motivation – even amidst the setbacks and challenges – and actually accomplish your desire.
Here are some of the lessons I have learned during my first year as a blogger that I believe will help you rethink the fear you feel about pursuing your desire and starting something new:
1. You are capable of doing a lot more than you think
- When I decided to move from a WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it or not. What if I can’t do it? Who will I get to help me? This seems impossible! So I bought a couple books on WordPress and professional blogging, read the parts I needed to thoroughly, and set up my self-hosted WordPress.org blog all by myself. No, it wasn’t easy and yes, it took time. But it was definitely worth it and it wasn’t impossible.
2. You are usually your greatest barrier to reaching your goals
- I believe life takes place in what I call the 50/50 ratio: 50% of life is what happens to us and our response to it, and the other 50% is what we make happen in life; the thoughts, actions, opportunities, realities, and circumstances we create. We cannot control everything, such as whether or not our favorite sports team will win the championship, but we can control some things. Too often we don’t believe we are capable of becoming someone or doing the thing we dream about, and so we never even try it. But not even trying is guaranteed failure. Trying brings with it the possibility that you may succeed. Recognizing that you may the greatest barrier to your goals is hard to admit, but very liberating at the same time.
3. Writing helps you in other areas of your life
- I never would have thought a year ago that writing would have made me an overal better person, but it definitely has. Writing forces you to sit down, think, process your thoughts, wrestle with your thoughts, and communicate your thoughts to the other person in a way that he or she will understand. Writing forces you to think about the other person, the one who is reading what you write. This not only helps your writing, but also your relationships, your meditation and thoughts, and awareness to life around you.
4. Creating is fun, hard, and worth it.
- It’s hard to sit down and figure out, what do I want to create? Creating is hard because it takes thought, discipline, diligence, being proactive, and mapping your own route. This is hard, but it’s also fun, and it is definitely worth it.
5. Fear is full of crap
All of us have at least one desire in us that we hope will become a reality someday. Don’t let the desire in you die! Act on it today. Start, go, begin. There is a much greater chance of your desire(s) becoming a reality by you doing something about it, rather than just sitting around, waiting for your desire to accomplish itself without you.
Does anyone expect their body to become healthy without actually doing any running, exercising, or eating healthy? No, you don’t become physically healthy until you start running, exercising, and eating right.
As you start working towards your desire, you will see the fear begin to melt away. You will be let out of the prison fear has kept you in.
Questions: What fear do you feel is holding you back from pursuing a desire/dream you have? If you blog, what lesson(s) have you learned in your blogging career? All are welcome to join in on the conversation!